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How to Gain Your Boss's Respect

by Bronwyn Timmons

Perhaps you've had negative encounters with your boss, or maybe you've simply failed to stand out and have flown under his radar. Regardless of the circumstances, you might be feeling disrespected and discouraged about your job. Respect is something people naturally crave, as it's always nice to feel as though your contributions are recognized and appreciated. Gaining your boss's respect will take a lot of hard work and dedication. But it could help pave the way toward a better working relationship, as well as advancement opportunities in the future.

Take Initiative

As an employee, your role is to make your employer's job easier. If she constantly has to instruct and guide you through your daily tasks, she probably won't have much respect for you. Instead of waiting for her to tell you what to do every day, take initiative and figure out what needs to be done on your own. For example, offer to help coworkers who have fallen behind on their workloads before being instructed to do so, or clean up a mess that you see without waiting for someone else to tend to it. If you can think of more efficient solutions to common work problems or processes, tell your boss about them. The more you go above and beyond your basic job description, the more respect you're likely to gain once your boss takes notice.

Be Flexible and Reliable

If you're the type of worker who's apt to say "no" to working extra hours or prone to showing up late for meetings, you're unlikely to earn your boss's respect. Be the type of employee your boss knows he can rely on, whether it's for someone to cover another worker's shift on occasion or to meet important deadlines on a regular basis. Keep all of the commitments you make to your boss and refrain from making promises you know you can't keep. Be flexible in your scheduling and workload, and strive to go the extra mile instead of scraping by doing the bare minimum and expecting respect to be handed to you.

Be Professional

No matter which sector you work in, conduct yourself as a professional at all times. Refrain from engaging in workplace gossip or bullying, as both of these actions reflect poorly on you as a person and as a professional. Be honest and sincere when conversing with your boss, and exude confidence in your demeanor rather than arrogance. Be friendly toward everyone at work -- including your boss -- while maintaining professional working relationships.

Take Responsibility

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but professionals take responsibility for their shortcomings rather than make excuses for them. If you mess up, admit to it immediately rather than hoping no one will notice what you did wrong. Tell your boss what happened and provide a strategy for how you plan to fix it and avoid making the same mistake again in the future. Your boss is human and will likely understand and forgive your mistakes. She will also respect you for taking responsibility for them.

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